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Birmingham - London, 'New rail link under consideration'

7535 Views 56 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Salif
This sounds good! I just hope they connect it through London - Stratford International and not London - St. Pancras to make through trains Birmingham - Paris possible.
Double-decker trains, to cut journeys between London and Birmingham to 45 minutes, are being considered.

A link is suggested with Eurostar, bypassing central London

The Department for Transport is looking at plans for a new 190mph (305km/h) link from near the new Channel Tunnel terminus in London to the Midlands. Costing £15bn, the link would enable Midlands travellers to reach Paris in three hours, bypassing central London.

The BBC's Midlands Transport Correspondent, Peter Plisner, said raising the money would not be easy. He said the initial cost would inevitably escalate to billions of pounds more.

Heathrow tunnel

He added: "After initial disappointment when Eurostar was launched that Midlanders could not go direct to the continent on the train, this plan could finally allow this to happen."

The line would have the opportunity to extend at each end - to Heathrow, via a five-mile tunnel, and to Manchester.

The plan was first envisaged by Greengauge 21, a group of rail industry leaders, and is being looked at in Whitehall. It is estimated the new line would take at least 15 years to complete.

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport confirmed the scheme was among those being considered but added that £8bn was being spent on the west coast main line upgrade, which would be completed next year. "That will set the standard on that line to 2020," he said.

"We are not ruling out any projects at present, but we will be making a major announcement about the future of railway services next month," he said. "Until then we cannot comment any further."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/6766803.stm
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Sorry but how is appealing to the people of the Midlands as well as the North and Scotland appealing to a minority of people? I'm talking about a system that will link London (and conversely Europe if a station is built at Stratford)with Glasgow and the millions of people inbetween rather than a route which will just link Birmingham to Stratford. That seems like common sense to me...
That's a rather silly thing to say considering it's people in the heartland who'll be making up a large percentage of a HSR's passenger base.

Basically you think a multi-billion pound transport network should be aimed at the needs of a minority of people?
G
You are the one who dismissed the needs of people in the 'heartland' so perhaps you should answer that question yourself.

With all due respect I couldnt give a stuff about what the people from the 'Heartland' want.

Common sense is developing a high speed network in stages just as other countries have done (Paris to Marseille wasn't achieved in one go). Personally I think it should be from London to Manchester initially but having a line built to Birmingham will do nicely in the meantime.
Sorry but how is appealing to the people of the Midlands as well as the North and Scotland appealing to a minority of people? I'm talking about a system that will link London (and conversely Europe if a station is built at Stratford)with Glasgow and the millions of people inbetween rather than a route which will just link Birmingham to Stratford. That seems like common sense to me...
I couldn't give a stuff what the people of the heartlands want in terms of thinking they have a 'Divine Right' to be connected to Europe. Having a maglev that serves the main spine of the country also serves the Midlands is surely a better option. And yes I agree such a system should be built in phases, but why persist with 19th/20th century technology when we have the chance to use something for the 21st century that significantly improves the time it takes to get to our major cities? If we build a HSR railway in stages throughout the country in 50 years time we'll be scratching our heads at our then outdated and antiquated HSR route while the rest of the world has moved onto using Maglevs as there main form of cross country transport.
G
Please spare me the pro-maglev spiel, you're not going to convince me it's the best option and I'm not going to try and convince you it's not so we may aswell stay clear of that debate.

Besides this is based on a news story about looking into the possibility of a High Speed Railway between London and Birmingham.

The tax and fare payers have every right to have their needs served by such a project and one of those needs just happens to be a connection to the rest of Europe.
I couldn't give a stuff what the people of the heartlands want in terms of thinking they have a 'Divine Right' to be connected to Europe. Having a maglev that serves the main spine of the country also serves the Midlands is surely a better option. And yes I agree such a system should be built in phases, but why persist with 19th/20th century technology when we have the chance to use something for the 21st century that significantly improves the time it takes to get to our major cities? If we build a HSR railway in stages throughout the country in 50 years time we'll be scratching our heads at our then outdated and antiquated HSR route while the rest of the world has moved onto using Maglevs as there main form of cross country transport.
This is good news for Bham, whichever route they choose. How long is a flight to Paris from Birmingham?
Now come on everyone, don't get your hopes up or be sucked into believing any of this crap. Considering Network Rail's current record with rail projects and the general incompetence of the UK Government in getting any of their ambitious rail projects funded - let alone off the ground - this is a pipedream fantasy that will forever remain pie in the sky as long as pigs haven't yet learned to fly.

So don't believe a word of it, unless you all want to be taken for mugs.

It ain't gonna happen in our lifetimes.

End of story.

Now let's get back to the real world shall we?
And i'm afraid you're not going to convince me that £15 billion is the right price to pay to connect one part of the country to Europe when we could spend a little bit more and build a whole faster line to Glasgow serving most of the major cities along route. But we'll leave it at that.
Please spare me the pro-maglev spiel, you're not going to convince me it's the best option and I'm not going to try and convince you it's not so we may aswell stay clear of that debate.

Besides this is based on a news story about looking into the possibility of a High Speed Railway between London and Birmingham.

The tax and fare payers have every right to have their needs served by such a project and one of those needs just happens to be a connection to the rest of Europe.
Wouldn't that Maglev price be grossly underestimated? How could a much longer line possibly be that much cheaper, relatively? While in the Netherlands, for example, there were plans for a new line between Groningen and Amsterdam, and the conventional high speed line was estimated as much, much cheaper than the Maglev option there.
And i'm afraid you're not going to convince me that £15 billion is the right price to pay to connect one part of the country to Europe when we could spend a little bit more and build a whole faster line to Glasgow serving most of the major cities along route. But we'll leave it at that.
Probably but the only data available does not really represent construction in the Western European regulatory environment so the proponents of MagLev are using cost data that is rather speculative at best. As we have no real actual costs to use for comparison it is very hard evaluate their estimates.
Wouldn't that Maglev price be grossly underestimated? How could a much longer line possibly be that much cheaper, relatively? While in the Netherlands, for example, there were plans for a new line between Groningen and Amsterdam, and the conventional high speed line was estimated as much, much cheaper than the Maglev option there.
G
Just aswell I'm not trying to convince you then ;)
And i'm afraid you're not going to convince me that £15 billion is the right price to pay to connect one part of the country to Europe when we could spend a little bit more and build a whole faster line to Glasgow serving most of the major cities along route. But we'll leave it at that.
Hopefully the report will have examined all options so we can see why they are going ahead with this option as opposed to maglev. The most important thing is that the government is finally getting round to dealing with our rail infrastructure and connecting the UK's biggest cities with a decent fast line. This is what matters. I do not think they are being ambitous enough though.
Of course not! Greengauge 21 is an advocacy group and this report is not sponsored by any government organization.
Hopefully the report will have examined all options so we can see why they are going ahead with this option as opposed to maglev. The most important thing is that the government is finally getting round to dealing with our rail infrastructure and connecting the UK's biggest cities with a decent fast line. This is what matters. I do not think they are being ambitous enough though.
Why argue over the intricacies of each type of system?

Yes . Cost is an issue. But the overriding fact is that a high speed system is required in the UK and the government should stop diggind in their heels and allow something to go ahead even if it is only a route to Birminghame to start with......

Preferably would like to see a 'big bang' approach but that'll never happen, if they won't allow it for the Metrolink in Manchester.
So what if you need to change trains - you're going to saving, what, an hour on the maglev section. And I think the amount of people who would be using it for the eurostar aspect would be very low, probably on the other of 10% of a train or so.
Most forumers? You mean ChrisV - Ive never heard anyone else insist that european connections should bypass London.

Quick links to Europe are great and itd a lot better if you dont need to take a tube to get between the train into London and eurostar but having to change trains once is no big deal.

The really important thing is the link to London. If they could do London-Birmingahm in half and hour it would trasnform the WestMidlands IMO.
This is exactly what most of the forumers from the "Heartland" have been objecting too for the last ten or more years. They were promised through connections when the Channel Tunnel was approved.
hour and a half
This is good news for Bham, whichever route they choose. How long is a flight to Paris from Birmingham?
And because it is faster it brings the continent even closer to both midlanders and others. A good interchange and through baggage check in for those with larger items can make it all the easier. I simply don't buy the idea that this is an important drawback for maglev. The proportion of journey's that will be intl ones will be minute compared to domestic ones and on dometic issues I still think maglev wins. Its not like the continent where we have a web of interconnected rails, we have one link only. Passengers can change without much hassle and frieght which is more important (and which can't change) can still use the rails which won't be clogged with TGV's because maglev will have added true extra capacity.
The UK Ultraspeed plan is to have a station at Stratford or the Thames Gateway if i'm not mistaken. So simply a case of changing from 1 to the other when you get there.
G
Hence why there is a great desire to press ahead with High Speed 2.

An LGV (we'll call it that for sake of simplicity)will free up extra capacity to the current network. I've never understood UK Ultraspeeds or whoevers argument that it won't.

The heavily congested southern sections of the relevant mainline will have inter city trains switched onto the LGV so there's more capacity for a start. As for city approaches, well Greengauge answers that concern perfectly in it's presentation. Many of our cities have unused trackbeds which are just crying out to be re-used.

Tell me, what is the maximum amount of passengers a maglev system would be able to carry each way per hour?
And because it is faster it brings the continent even closer to both midlanders and others. A good interchange and through baggage check in for those with larger items can make it all the easier. I simply don't buy the idea that this is an important drawback for maglev. The proportion of journey's that will be intl ones will be minute compared to domestic ones and on dometic issues I still think maglev wins. Its not like the continent where we have a web of interconnected rails, we have one link only. Passengers can change without much hassle and frieght which is more important (and which can't change) can still use the rails which won't be clogged with TGV's because maglev will have added true extra capacity.
nearly half the cost of this plan is to allow the line to serve Heathrow via a big expensive tunnel under West London. It's about £8billion without it, though isn't really the best scheme, though the fundamental concept is excellent - a line to bypass the overcrowded southern ends of lines to start with, reducing times from further north.

With regards to the Maglev - is it going to go into city centres, as that would involve costly tunnelling? or is it that you'd have to change at parkway stations? In which case, you have to compare with a London-Birmingham LGV going between the M25 and the M42, which will further reduce the price of the LGV.
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